I need your advice. I’m in my early twenties, dating a girl a few years younger than me. We’ve been together for three years now. It was all sunshine and daisies until I went back to University and met this teacher, who is in her early forties, and I realised I had a crush on her. I tried to surpress those feelings as well as talk to my girlfriend about it. She just shook it off and teased me a bit about it, but I feel like maybe she is a bit jealous. I mean, I certainly would be if the roles were reversed. Now, a few months ago, this teacher started showing interest in me, talking to me a bit more about her personal life and opening up a bit (we come from the same town, so we have some things in common). I started visiting her often during her office hours and somewhat flirting with her. It seemed like she flirted back, but on the other hand, she still holds her dead husband’s picture on the wall even tho she is asking me out and admitting she looked me up on social networks. I feel like I want the teacher and on the other hand I love my girlfriend so much and I don’t want to hurt her and I also still want to have the life we planned together. I literally don’t know what to do anymore, I’m just confused the whole time, trying to finally make a choice, but I fail.
Hot for a teacher
Dear Hot for a teacher,
I’m not buying the sunshine and daisies.
If everything was daises and sunshine and you got the hot teacher, you would giggle about it and maybe indulge in some teacher-student fantasies and use that jealousy to fuel the spark with your girlfriend.
You would recognize your crush on your teacher for what is it, a crush on someone twice your age that is not going to go somewhere.
Instead you’re showing up at office hours making a move while clocking the photos of her dead husband on the wall.
So let’s unpack what your continued crush might be telling you.
1. Maybe you want to try being poly.
I’m not saying you ARE or that you should aspire to be poly, but generally speaking, happily committed monogamous people don’t nurture crushes on unavailable women. They get crushes, and then they put that energy back into their relationship. So if you’re not able or willing to direct that energy toward little miss sunshine, maybe it’s a sign that you aren’t cut out to have only one partner.
2. You aren’t as happy as you claim to be.
Women commit to crushes when they no longer want to be in their existing relationship and need an exit strategy. Or I should say, serial monogamists do that. If you are the kind of woman who needs a girlfriend, and you take up with someone new the same week as you exit a relationship, then your teacher fantasy may be your heart telling your head that it’s over with your girlfriend.
3. You’ve emotionally moved on but don’t want to hurt your girlfriend. Okay, saying “but I love her so much and I don’t want to hurt her” is what you say to your best friend when you’re like “I don’t think Camille is the one” and your friend is like, “oh, okay, well I think it makes sense for you to break up with her then.”
I hope this isn’t news to you, but it’s seriously unlikely your girlfriend is your forever partner. Sure you may be talking about moving in next semester or buying a campervan and being Instagram influencers living that #vanlife. But deep down you KNOW that you are young and don’t wanna be tied down.
You want the life you planned together because we all want security blankets, but a girlfriend is not a security blanket and if you’re more attached to “the life we planned together” than her, then what you need is a Pinterest vision board for your #lifegoals, not a girlfriend.
You and your girlfriend are both super young, and most of us aren’t really ready to make that forever commitment at 18 or 23 or whatever ages you are. So take that as a given, ask yourself “since Camille probably won’t be my one true love forever, what do I want to do? What is right for me?” and then listen.
There’s nowhere for this teacher crush to go.
I’ve written about why you shouldn’t try to date your teacher before, but the widow angle here adds another layer. Your teacher is ALSO YOUNG and has lost who she thought was going to be her life partner.
She is grieving. She is figuring out where to go from where she is, which is a place she never thought she would be in her early forties. She is not in the best headspace to put it mildly.
So even if she is actually interested in you on some level, it is a totally terrible idea for her to toss out her career by making a pass at you (then she will be widowed AND unemployed).
LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE and break up with your girlfriend, open up your relationship, OR forget your crush and commit to the relationship if you can truly be a good partner to her.
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